Women in Sports Advertisements Essay

Women in Sports Advertisements Essay

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How have women been portrayed in sports advertisements? Before I started school, I spent a large portion of my days outside, being an active child. I continued to be active throughout elementary school, and then in middle and high school I joined just about every sports team I could, including: cross country, golf, volleyball, gymnastics, and track. I consider myself lucky to have been given so many opportunities, since women were unable to participate competitively in sports until the 1900’s. I have always been interested in sports and living an active lifestyle, so when I reached high school and became more competitive, I wanted the best equipment to reach my athletic potential. I did some research and asked friends and family which brand of sports equipment and athletic wear they would recommend; many said Nike. This is understandable, because Nike outranks many competing companies due to its brand becoming a community of loyal customers, who continually buy quality products from a company that adapts to the times, and outperforms their competition. When I looked at Nike’s advertisements, however, I found the men’s advertisements to be athletic and inspirational, but the women’s were seductive and sexualized. Women have been given more rights since the 1900’s, and are hypothetically equal to men, but there is a difference between how they are portrayed in advertisements. Are women portrayed in all sports advertisements as sex objects, and if they are, why are women portrayed in a different way than men are in advertisements where many would think they’d be portrayed similarly?
To explore answers to these questions I read the Journal of Sport & Social Issues article "That's Who I Want to Be: The Politics and Production of Desir...


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...on about women in sports advertisements, and gives the opinion that athletes are sexualized in advertisements. I’ve learned that many women’s sports advertisements support and emphasise the idea that beauty comes from strength and athleticism, but some advertisements brush off an athletes accomplishments in order to make them beautiful or sexual. I think that women will be portrayed in sports advertisements and other advertisements the way people are comfortable and used to seeing them be portrayed. Things that I still haven’t learned from my sources are how men are portrayed in sports advertisements and if there are any stereotypes about female athletes. A new question I have is what does it mean to be sexualized or objectified, and does this happen to female athletes? Next, I want to see how men are portrayed in sports advertisements, and if they are masculinized.

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